The Arizona Wildcats are good – we get that. They’re No. 1 in the polls, unbeaten all season, tops in their conference, 18-0, all that – but are they really team with the greatest odds of winning March Madness? According to the college basketball futures, not quite. This Thursday the Cats will face their toughest test and first ranked opponent since No. 6 Duke in November.
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Simply put, while Arizona has been winning games and taking names, they haven’t exactly been flexing their muscle in such a manner that they’ve leapfrogged their peers on the sportsbook’s shortlist. Bettors aren’t exactly tripping over themselves to invest.
With 7/1 odds of winning the 2004 NCAA National Championship, Arizona sits third on the futures behind No. 15 Kansas and No. 4 Michigan State.
This week, with the No. 21 Colorado Buffaloes in town, Arizona will look to show that they’re more than just a predator of less-than-impressive opponents. Colorado sits third in the Pac-12, having beaten the likes of then-No. 10 Oregon and then-No. 6 Kansas earlier this season.
If the Wildcats can’t come up big against a No. 21 opponent, perhaps the gap between themselves and the top of the March Madness futures will be validated. The question is, how seriously will they be taken if they do?